Posts Tagged ‘Platform’

Hard Rock Atlantic City to Use GiG Platform for Online Gambling Offering

 Hard Rock Atlantic City to Use GiG Platform for Online Gambling Offering

On Monday, Malta-based Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) announced that it has entered into a five-yar agreement with Hard Rock International to be the company’s online gambling provider for its Hard Rock Atlantic City property, set to open this summer. The two companies had signed a Letter of Intent in late October, though at the time, GiG did not make it public that its partner was, in fact, Hard Rock International.

Gaming Innovation Group was founded in 2008 and has offices in six cities: Malta, Marbella, Gibraltar, Oslo, Kristiansand, and Copenhagen. It owns seven business-to-consumer online gambling and sports betting brands, focusing on European markets. That is, until now. The venture with Hard Rock will be GiG’s first foray into the young United States regulated online gambling market.

GiG explained what it will provide in Monday’s press release:

The agreement will see GiG furnish Hard Rock with a state of the art digital consumer portal, as well as the back-end platform to manage their operations. GiG has communicated ambitions to expand its platform services, focusing on larger clients by utilizing platform scalability. The agreement is a breakthrough for GiG’s platform services as it marks the first agreement with a major global brand and land based casino chain. GiG will also supply Hard Rock with its new front-end casino service, GiG Magic.

“We are excited to be part of Hard Rock’s inspiring and innovative plans,” said Robin Reed, CEO of GiG. “This agreement confirms the attractiveness of the GiG platform and the ability to support major operators in the industry. By adding a New Jersey license, we will move into our third regulated market, positioning GiG towards an important and growing iGaming market.”

Added SPV of Online Gaming at Hard Rock, Kresimir Spajic, “Hard Rock has an ambitious plan to become a global leader in the international online gaming space. We are confident that, together with GiG, we can disrupt the market, through product innovation and unique user experience.”

Hard Rock Atlantic City is the former Trump Taj Mahal, which closed in October 2016. Things were a mess leading up to the closure (aren’t they usually?) as Carl Icahn, the largest debtholder of Trump Entertainment Resorts took control of the casino when the company came out of bankruptcy in February 2016. In the months that followed, he refused to invest $ 100 million into the casino that he promised, holding out for tax breaks from Atlantic City and New Jersey. He got concessions from the Unite Here Local 54 union, causing its members to lose pension and health benefits, but when the union later tried to negotiate to get their benefits back, Icahn wouldn’t budge. The workers went on strike and the Taj eventually closed, Icahn blaming the union.

Hard Rock International acquired the Trump Taj Mahal in late March 2017. It has plowed $ 500 million into the property, converting it to its Hard Rock brand and plans to re-open this summer. The online gambling products are expected to also launch this year, though GiG did not specify if this would happen when the casino opens its doors.

The post Hard Rock Atlantic City to Use GiG Platform for Online Gambling Offering appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Republican Party Removes Online Poker Ban from Platform

 Republican Party Removes Online Poker Ban from Platform

In an e-mail sent to Poker Players Alliance (PPA) members late last week, PPA Vice President of Player Relations Rich Muny relayed the positive news that a ban on internet poker has been removed from the Republican Party’s platform in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Ever since online poker has been a thing that has existed in this world, an online gambling prohibition has been a part of the Republican platform. The irony of it is that the Republican party claims to be the party of small government, yet for a solid two decades, it has included this plank, among others, that would give Americans less freedom and a federal government that controls their lives. But hey, there are only so many ways to keep that religious conservative vote.

Of course, it wasn’t like the Republican Platform Committee just up and decided that an online gambling ban was a bad idea. The PPA had to convince the Committee of it. And it also wasn’t like the Committee thinks it is a bad idea simply because it is a bad idea. As is often the case, it was likely decided that online gambling was better as a states’ rights issue because, you know, when someone at the federal level doesn’t want to make a tough decision, it is easier to just say, “Well, I think that’s up to the states to decide.”

Online poker is not an important issue in the grand scheme of federal politics, but it is certainly better that a poker ban is NOT a part of the Republican Party’s platform than if it was. Interestingly, this is also the party to which Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson donates millions upon millions of dollars. The same Sheldon Adelson who has made it his life’s mission to do “whatever it takes” to get online gambling banned in the U.S. It is a bit surprising that the Republican Party could get away with that, but then again, it’s not like Adelson is about to support Hillary Clinton.

Then there is Donald Trump’s recently-tabbed running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Forgetting all of his other ultra-conservative, religious stances, Pence is extremely anti-online poker. He favored Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), going so far as to write a letter to the Indiana Congressional Delegation, urging them to support it, as well. In the letter, he said it was important for the states to be able to decide for themselves about how they wanted to handle gambling, but that it was somehow also important to have a blanket ban on internet gambling banned at the federal level.

Pence’s strange reasoning for that:

Internet gambling crosses state lines and impacts the ability of a state to regulate and control gambling within its borders. By its very nature, the Internet involves interstate commerce. Internet gambling relies on technology, such as GPS location monitoring and other controls, that may be compromised. Internet gambling also relies on verification procedures for participant ages and payment information that are subject to similar vulnerabilities. Taken together with the mobility of our society and the widespread access to the Internet, a federal prohibition of Internet gambling is necessary. Otherwise the ability of states like Indiana to prevent and control Internet gambling within its borders, despite our best efforts, will be greatly diminished.

Now, hopefully you weren’t waiting to find out about the Republican Party’s or Mike Pence’s stance on internet gambling before deciding your pick for POTUS, but there you go.

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Full Tilt Now on the PokerStars Platform

 Full Tilt Now on the PokerStars Platform

Full Tilt Poker is dead. Long live Full Tilt.

On Tuesday, May 17th, Full Tilt was officially absorbed into PokerStars, ending the second – and likely last – era of the gaming site’s existence. Amaya Inc., the parent company of both sites, announced the merger in February, saying:

This platform migration will allow Amaya’s development and technology teams to focus on improving one market-leading platform rather than two, leading to a better gaming experience for all; improvements and features will be delivered faster and more efficiently rather than doubling development requirements. For instance, rather than splitting resources developing Full Tilt Jackpot Sit & Go and PokerStars Spin & Go features independently, teams will be able to work together on delivering the best possible product on one platform.

Full Tilt’s software was quite popular; it was attractive, colorful, easy to use, and generally ran quite smoothly. Despite this, though, the software platform will be retired. Full Tilt will technically still exist, but only as a skin of PokerStars. The login screen asks players to login to their PokerStars accounts and the lobby, aside from the presence of the Full Tilt logo and Full Tilt color scheme, looks just like PokerStars’. A few other Full Tilt remnants remain, such as The Deal, Full Tilt avatars, and the name Rush Poker instead of Zoom Poker. The table views still look very much like Full Tilt, also.

To celebrate the integration of the two sites, Amaya has launched the Jackpot Unchained promotion for Full Tilt players who continue playing on the new software. It’s not really that impressive, but here’s what Full Tilt players are being offered:

The Deal Jackpot Guarantee – for four weeks, The Deal Daily Top Up will add an extra $ 2,000 to The Deal Jackpot. On Tuesday, June 14th, the jackpot is guaranteed to be at least $ 100,000.

Weekly Upgrade Freerolls – $ 10,000 freeroll every Saturday for four weeks.

Stake $ 5 Get $ 5 – wager $ 5 on any of eight specific slot machines, get a $ 5 casino bonus.

Magnificent 7 – seven different slot machines from the above, wager $ 25 or more and get 25 free spins.

$ 25K Takeaway – earn 12 StarsCoin in a day in casino games, get put into a drawing for $ 25,000 in prizes.

50 Percent Slots Cashback – earn 60 StarsCoin in slots, get 50 percent back in net losses up to $ 350.

The merger of PokerStars and Full Tilt likely won’t make too much of a dent on the poker landscape. According to PokerScout.com, PokerStars has a seven-day average of 13,000 cash game players, far more than any other poker room. Full Tilt has just 550, most of whom probably also play on PokerStars. Because of the overlap, PokerStars’ traffic figures may go up a bit, but not all that much.

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Full Tilt Applies to Steam Gaming Platform

 Full Tilt Applies to Steam Gaming Platform

Points for creativity go to Full Tilt Poker. In an effort to expand its player base, Full Tilt is attempting to get its play-money game client, FullTilt.net, listed on the Steam entertainment platform. The poker software is currently in the voting process on Steam Greenlight.

Steam is a software distribution platform developed by the Valve Corporation, the software house that brought gamers such titles as the Half Life series, the Left 4 Dead series, and the long-running comedic first-person shooter, Team Fortress 2. As the days of off-the-shelf purchases gave way to software downloads, Steam arose to give gamers a one-stop-shop for all of their games. Part app store, part personal games library, the steam client allows players to browse, purchase, and download games. One of the big benefits to Steam, though, is that all of a user’s game purchases are stored in the cloud and can be downloaded onto any computer at any time, as long as the person installing the game has the proper account login credentials. Users must also be logged into their Steam account to play games after installation, but this serves to prevent piracy, as copies of games can’t simply be shared with friends (games can actually be shared now, but the game’s owner must authorize access and while it is being played by one person, it cannot be played by another).

As a user of Steam for years, it has become the platform via which I play the vast majority of my games. It does get annoying sometimes that I absolutely have to be logged in with an internet connection, but at the same time, being able to keep games in the cloud is great and many games keep saved progress in the cloud, too, so if I delete the game and re-install it later, I can pick up where I left off. Steam also has several massive sales a year during which many great games can be bought for next to nothing.

As for Full Tilt, it is currently in the Steam Greenlight section; it is not available to play just yet. Steam Greenlight is a system in which game developers submit their creations for review and users, in turn, vote on whether or not they want the game to be made available on the Steam platform. Get enough interest relative to the competition, and Steam puts the game up for download.

Steam has millions of subscribers; the goal for Full Tilt is clearly to farm this potentially fertile ground for new players, albeit players who would be playing for free. Of course, once they starting playing for fake money, there is always the chance they would decide to dive into real money competition if they live in a jurisdiction where that is permitted. It is an interesting move for Full Tilt and one with no real downside. If it doesn’t get up-voted enough on Greenlight to make it onto Steam, Amaya Gaming, the owner of Full Tilt, is only out the $ 100 application fee and any time spent promoting the product (which likely isn’t much). If it is accepted and doesn’t garner many downloads or active players, that is still more than the zero it would have had without Steam.

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